Having just returned to Georgia after a 1000 mile drive I was pretty wiped out but I learned that the preserve was still open until this coming Saturday and I decided to go. I have been coming here for years, and I was truly impressed with the many trail improvements that have been done and all of the upgrades to the preserve. There is so much to learn, and the preserve has made a very good effort at education with lots of signs that were designed to help people understand the ecological importance of the preserve. This is a truly special place! I spent the afternoon trying to take the best photographs I could to highlight the beauty of the place!

In one of the photographs, you will see a highway. To the left of the highway is the actual preserve.

Botanizing I-95 from Pennsylvania to Georgia at 70 mph

I 95 just south of Richmond Virginia. A dramatic interchange above The non native and invasive blooming Callery Pear.

A long 930 mile two day trip, with carefully planned stops to take care of the most basic needs. I curated the trip going from antique mall to antique mall to experience the cleanest bathrooms spanning the breadth of the East Coast of the United States Of America. Pounding America’s finest pavements, I often relax into the journey by botanizing and delving into the beautiful natural world that I 95 relentlessly plows through. For much of the almost 1000 mile trip, the grinding and exhausting interstate highway is just feet away from exquisitely beautiful natural surroundings, all of which are fully appreciated here on the Sanguine Root.

Fayetteville, North Carolina: Cercis canadensis The Redbud tree in cultivation at my mid-trip hotel accommodations, Tuesday morning March 7, 2023. Alongside the highway, the Redbud trees started to show their blooms in Richmond. By the time I got to Thomasville Georgia, the Redbud trees were shaking off most of the blooms and were leafing out.

Through Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and DC there were plenty of blooming Japanese Cherry trees. As I got into northern Virginia, blooming red maples were the stars of the show. Once I crossed the East Coast epic James River, the Botanical landscape changed. Running right through Richmond Virginia, the James River is a notable crossroads into a different botanical environment. At this time, the Redbuds are blooming! Driving south in early March is so interesting in this respect, in that real differences in blooming trees can be viewed in an immediate time reference!

The long road ahead

South of Florence, South Carolina I started to see Carolina Jasmine, Jessamine sempervirens, growing alongside the highway. This plant is an astoundingly beautiful flowering vine that will leave you mesmerized from its beauty and you will just keep thinking about it after your initial experience with it. When you first see Carolina Jasmine, it it is your personal re-entry into spring and the end of winter. I never got a chance to get a picture and stay tuned for that one! Also in South Carolina I saw Saw Palmetto Serenoa repens growing in the woods just adjacent to I 95!

In South Carolina driving over a beautiful natural landscape

We do this drive often, working on two rundown houses, one in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and the other in Thomasville Georgia. We have gotten to know the natural world in between. That whole world has been scientifically delineated by plant range maps, notably available at the U.S. Geological Survey. Upon my arrival in Thomasville Georgia, I was greeted by my already bloomed and gone to seed cultivated Bloodroot Sanguinaria canadensis.